Empty threats

Get ready for another blurry red line in the Ukraine coming from the White House and the president's talking heads. Another great foreign policy blunder - "Back off the Ukraine or there will be costs."

I can hear President Putin laughing from here. If that's the best President Obama, Vice President Biden and Secretary of State John Kerry have, they should stay on the diplomatic porch and let a bigger dog do the talking.

Frankly, I don't think we have any business getting involved in the Ukraine, and we certainly can't point fingers.

Every day our drones patrol over other countries' sovereign territory, not to mention our own. What's the difference, Mr. President?

This is yet another example of political double-talk from the administration.

I can't help but remember in 2007 when Obama was running for office that a large part of his platform was "change" to renew America's stature on the world stage. That because then-President Bush had allegedly destroyed it.

Where's the "change"? If you find it, keep it. I've had all the "change" I can take.

Oh, and look for the red line along with it.

David Clifford

Bluebird Drive

Mount Pleasant

Oh, the irony

The trend of the Obama administration to globally eliminate "American exceptionalism" has taken on new meaning right here in Charleston.

We have a restaurant called "The Ordinary," and a soon-to-open apartment complex known as "The Standard."

God forbid we should show any pride in either of these establishments as the irony would be too much to bear.

David N. Fisher

Dunnemann Avenue

Charleston

Intrusive bill

The S.C. House is currently debating H.4223, a 20-week abortion ban. Its sponsors call it the "Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection" bill, although a fetus does not have the thalamocortical connections required to feel pain until week 29 or 30.

There has been much emotional, fact-free debate on the side of those who would like to see this ban in place. But there are real facts about how such a ban would harm women and their families.

First of all, abortion after 20 weeks is rare. Such abortions occur in the course of wanted pregnancies, and are considered when serious complications arise - complications that threaten the life of the mother or indicate that attempting to carry to term would result in miscarriage, stillbirth or dysfunction, which would lead to infant mortality.

While it has been proven that at 20 weeks a fetus is not capable of feeling pain, we know that carrying and giving birth in the face of such impairment will cause great pain and suffering.

Not only would such a ban threaten the life and health of the pregnant woman, but the result of forcing a woman to carry an impaired pregnancy to term could also affect future attempts to become pregnant and bear healthy children.

We have licensed and well-educated medical professionals whose task is to determine risks during a pregnancy. It would be an abomination to force a doctor to comply with laws written by those who are not privy to medical training or to the facts of each pregnancy.

We need to be able to rely on our obstetric professionals just as we trust medical professionals in other areas of practice to diagnose and recommend appropriate treatments without government interference.

Men and women alike should oppose this attempt by the government to interfere in such critical medical care, for the sake of ourselves and our families.

Agnes F. Pomata, Ph.D.

Foxfire Road

Wadmalaw Island

What really counts

Let's be honest and logical about the Olympic medal count. Would you rather have a gold medal or a silver? A silver or a bronze? The answer is obvious, so why are all medals given the same value in the medal count?

A more logical accounting would be to simply give a gold medal a weighted score of 3, a silver 2, and a bronze 1.

Using this method, a better medal count would be ascertained not only for the Sochi Olympics, but for all Olympic games.

James Brooks

Ruffin Road

Mount Pleasant

Way to go, Bill

I enjoyed reading the March 4 article about Bill Murray's support of a Charleston business and wanted to contribute my own Bill Murray story.

A few weeks ago he casually walked into a rehearsal of my choir, Lowcountry Voices. Not only did he stay for the entire two hours, he clapped and danced to the music and enthusiastically cheered us on.

He endured with good humor all the camera devices that were pointed at him and stayed after the rehearsal to sign autographs and chat with choir members. He also showed his support by buying 10 tickets to our upcoming Nelson Mandela concert on the spot.

What a guy!

Vivian Smith

Whispering Cypress Drive

Charleston

Rising gun toll

Like me, most doctors went into medicine to save lives and to prevent suffering. Sometimes I have failed, and I did not sleep well.

Congress, in following the Constitution, is also supposed to have the best intentions, but with inaction or action it has a dismal record.

After the Newtown (Conn.) shooting, the president said if we enact one law that saves a life, it would be worth it. We are still waiting.

Before and after Newtown we have had killings in schools, churches, shopping malls, political rallies, theaters, military bases, and places of work. Usually there is no drinking or fighting in these locations.

There are many establishments in our area where people go to drink and a fight may occur. Shootings have happened and will undoubtedly again.

Legislators who allow this deadly combination should not sleep well.

Richard D. Marks Jr., M.D.

Live Oak Drive

Mount Pleasant

Bike lane

With regard to Charleston City Council's voting to shut down an entire lane on the Ashley River Bridge to create a bike lane, I am sick of our society's bending over backwards and wasting taxpayer dollars to appease tiny but vocal minority fringe groups.

In this case, $1.6 million will be wasted and almost 60,000 drivers will be inconvenienced and ensnarled in traffic jams in order to placate less than a hundred bicyclists who want to bike across the Ashley River every so often when it's nice outside.

These are the same people who ignore bike lanes and traffic laws, ride in the middle of the road, hold up working people trying to get somewhere and flip them off when someone tries passing.

This is foolishness, and I hope the SCDOT rejects it.

JOHN CAMPBELL

Tradewind Drive

Mount Pleasant

Stay out of it

President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry must live in a dream world if they think that Russian sanctions will work without the support of our European friends and allies. Note that Europeans get their oil and natural gas from Russia.

The conclusion should be obvious regarding retaliations from Russia.

Looking back at history, the Russians gave up the Ukraine, including the Crimea, in 1954. Perhaps Ukraine should negotiate the return of Crimea to Russia. This is just another world crisis we should avoid.

Phil Siegrist

Plantation Lane

Mount Pleasant

Close call

After catching a few moments of the March 2 Academy Awards, I'm not sure which is the better (worse?) recipe for narcissism: actors congratulating themselves with trophies to their performances or legislators writing their own ethics laws.

Jeff Erickson

Bampfield Drive

Mount Pleasant